A Lifeline to Child Care Providers

California's child care industry is in trouble. We must act by providing a lifeline. Our economy is impacted when parents cannot go to work due to child care issues. As a father, I, myself, would not have not been able to earn a living without it. So, I know how important this service is. It allows us to go to our jobs and enables our kids to learn more when they experience different environments.

As your Assemblymember, I am now leading an effort in Sacramento to stabilize this crucial network of care under a proposal called the CARE COLA, which gives child care providers a 25.44 percent cost-of-living increase. We are using that figure because the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says that's been the rate of inflation from July 2016 through March of this year. During the last seven years, the workers who take care of our little ones have not had a raise. The Assembly plan just brings provider pay up to account for some of the price hikes in goods and services, without consideration for what's ahead. But we must start somewhere. The poverty-level wages have contributed to numerous daycare closures and workers leaving.

Even more frustrating is we allocated significant funds from the state budget for 200,000 more subsidized child care slots, so that more people impacted by the pandemic can go back to work. But with fewer providers, one third of eligible parents have nowhere to go, leaving a vital benefit go unused.

Our $1 billion CARE COLA plan would just be the first step to fully fund the real cost of child care. More needs to be done for the industry, but we look at this proposal as a down payment on our state's future.

As the Legislature crafts the new state budget over the next month, we are making this child care package a priority because California's working economy cannot thrive without it. We also want to tell providers we value them and the service they provide for our families.

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